Ultimately, if economics is to become a relevant and realistic discipline, it must confront the real physical world which economies have transformed but economics has not measured or accounted for in relevant physical aspects like carbon emissions and other dimensions of ecological footprint. An exclusive focus on growth or degrowth as “good” or “bad” or vice-versa will lead to mismanagement of an economy, even one that is attempting a crash-course in emissions reductions.
Michael Hoexter, New Economic Perspectives
Wednesday, 25 December, 2013 | As action is required today and in the near future, though, it is reasonable to assume that production will be organized via some form of a capitalist organization of firms and the motivation of economic actors to achieve monetary profits/savings. In the period of transition to a new energy economy, the government sector and budget will play an enlarged and leading role in financing and regulating the transition.
Targeting net degrowth over a period of years, perhaps a decade, might or might not inhibit the development of the “greener” sectors of the energy and transport economy exactly because these sectors have to play “catch-up” in the area of infrastructure. The most secure way to build out these sectors in terms of minimizing technology risk, is to deploy renewable energy generators, some on a vast scale, heavy and light electric rail infrastructure, electric road and other grid-tied systems not dependent on advances in battery technology or availability of moderately scarce elements like lithium. These systems require as construction materials emissions-intensive steel and concrete on a very large scale. Innovations may cut these emissions substantially though in the foreseeable future not completely. Various commercial interests are claiming they have a breakthrough on the energy storage or generation side which would diminish the need for these investments but currently there is no certain alternative to the creation of some massive earthworks.
Michael Hoexter writes on Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency: Policy and Marketing; Politics of a Sustainable Future; and Meta-economics: Science, Subjectivity and Economic Policy
Series | Loathsome Wall Street Deficit Hysterics: Part 2, Economic Growth or “Degrowth”: Which Way Forward? Michael Hoexter, New Economic Perspectives
- The earth’s climate is facing tipping points beyond which a recognizable human civilization will be almost impossible to maintain due to the expansion of inhospitable or entirely uninhabitable climate zones, destruction of existing human settlements by water and weather, and the destruction of co-evolved species (including food) upon which we depend.
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Series | Loathsome Wall Street Deficit Hysterics: Part 1, 'Blame the Old and Sick, Not Us' Michael Hoexter, New Economic Perspectives
- Besides inspiring the reduced level of government funding we are now seeing in the US and elsewhere, the deficit hysteria campaign is threatening to undermine what remains of the American social safety net that helped form and support the American middle class over the past 70 years.
- State to cut Medicaid benefits for the elderly